Sweden’s Fishbrain, a social network for sport fishers and anglers, has hooked $13.5 million in a funding round led by B Capital Group, the VC fund of Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin, with participation from Softbank Ventures Korea – Softbank’s Seoul-based VC unit – and Nordic backers Northzone and Industrifonden.
The social network has five million anglers sharing and discussing their hobby and equipment.
“Our vision is to be the angler’s constant companion from the moment you think about going fishing until you come home satisfied from a successful catch experience,” said CEO Johan Attby.
The social network has logged over 3.7 million catches worth of data, along with weather and tide pattern info, which informs the company’s machine learning models to provide insights to users on where and when to go fishing.
“Fishbrain is a clear leader in the emerging digital fishing industry, which has tremendous promise based on the data of millions of users and catches,” said JP Lee, managing director at Softbank Ventures Korea.
The Stockholm-based startup plans to hire 30 new staff to boost product development and user growth. The round brings its total funding to date to $28 million.
The retail market for sport fishing is $200 billion globally with more than $46 billion of that in the US, which makes it a prime target for the company’s international growth where it hopes to bait in more users.
Fishbrain’s app runs on a freemium model with users getting basic features for free and monthly subscriptions for more features.